ONE WOMAN has saved thousands from her garden makeover and says the secrets to her success are quite simple.
Frugal Karen Brooke, 67, has transformed her ‘jungle’ into a dreamy outdoor space while saving more than £5,000.
Karen bought her bungalow in Cheshire for a bargain price two years ago.
The garden was completely deserted and in poor condition.
But instead of being put off by the project, the grandmother of four got to work, scouring storefronts and social media for bargains.
Thanks to upcycling, there is now a stunning garden oasis behind her house.
Karen loosened the soil with a tiller she bought from Aldi and began remodeling the property the next year.
She built a greenhouse in a corner and built a waterfall of unwanted rocks, which she sourced online for free.
She also built a trellis, now covered with pink and white roses, and planted box hedges, lavender, hardy grasses and ornamental conifers.
Although Karen spent £7,000 on the 18m x 18m property, Karen saved thousands.
Karen said, “I’ve always wanted to do the garden myself as I like to get my hands in it and I knew I didn’t want to spend what it would have cost a landscaper.”
“Just thinking about it, it would have cost me about £12,000 so it was better to do it myself.”
“When I first saw the garden I thought what can I do with it and just got stuck – and lost a stone in the 12 months it took me.”
“The landscaping and garden makeover was fantastic for losing weight because you’re running around with wheelbarrows and moving rocks.”
“And now it’s all implanted, it still keeps you fit because you have to bend and stretch.
“It’s also fantastic for your mental health and happiness.
“It just became like an oasis. I have sun there all day and it is very, very peaceful.”
She now plans to spend the warm nights enjoying the gin corner she has prepared.
Karen cut costs by scavenging for unwanted items that others were giving away.
She added, “I’m a bargain hunter and I like to find things on free sites.”
“I had to pay a lot of money for the concrete base, the greenhouse and the garden shed, but even on the terrace I upcycled what was there.”
“My summer house has three chairs and I upcycled them with white chalk paint and at 6pm I have a nice gin and tonic there.
“There is actually a label that says ‘The Gin Corner’. I’m sitting in there with my dog for a few hours.”
“I also have a beautiful water feature that looks like a fallen mountain, just a rocky waterfall, and that was supposed to hide an old fish pond that was there.
“I really feel like I’ve turned a jungle into a garden.”